155. Editorial Note

The Security Resources Panel of the ODM Science Advisory Committee submitted its report, “Deterrence and Survival in the Nuclear Age,” to the meeting of the National Security Council on November 7. Often called the Gaither Report after the name of the committee’s chairman, H. Rowan Gaither, Jr., the study was one of several authorized at the meeting of the National Security Council on April 4 to investigate the relationship between a Federal shelter program and other civil defense proposals.

According to the letter from the Steering Committee of the Security Resources Panel transmitting the Gaither Report to the President, dated November 7, “more than ninety persons of widely varying specialties and experiences,” including advisers and staff, participated in the committee’s work. The panel early decided that it “would not try for invention but, rather, would concentrate on the many studies undertaken by large and experienced groups, within our area of interest, both within and outside the military, and to try to relate them to [Page 629] our assignment.” Some members of the panel were given “access to particularly sensitive studies and Intelligence information, and the implications of these have influenced our final judgments.”

Gaither had to withdraw in September from further active direction of the panel because of ill health and was succeeded as director by Robert C. Sprague. Gaither subsequently rejoined the study as a member of the Advisory Committee and made the preliminary presentation of the report to the President on November 4; see Document 153.

William C. Foster was codirector of the Security Resources Panel and member of its Steering Committee. Other Steering Committee members were James Phinney Baxter III, President of Williams College; Robert D. Calkins, President of the Brookings Institution; John J. Corson, management consultant, McKinsey and Co.; James A. Perkins, Vice President of the Carnegie Corporation; Dr. Robert C. Prim, Bell Telephone Laboratories; Dr. Hector R. Skifter, Airborne Instruments Laboratories; William Webster, Executive Vice President of the New England Electric System; Dr. Jerome B. Wiesner; and Edward P. Oliver, technical adviser. Members of the Advisory Committee were: Gaither; Admiral Robert B. Carney; General James H. Doolittle; General John E. Hull, president of Manufacturing Chemists Association; Dr. Mervin J. Kelly, Bell Telephone Laboratories; Dr. Ernest O. Lawrence, director of Radiation Laboratory, University of California; Robert A. Lovett; John J. McCloy; and Frank Stanton. Appendix G to the Gaither Report contains the organization and roster of the panel. (Department of State, S/SNSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, NSC 5724)

The NSC discussed the Gaither Report on November 7; see infra . Dulles also discussed the report with the President on November 7; see Document 157.

The Gaither Report, including Appendices A–F, was circulated as NSC 5724, Document 158. NSC 5724/1, dated December 16, contained the comments and recommendations of the various departments and agencies on NSC 5724. (Department of State, S/SNSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95,NSC 5724) NSC 5724/1 was discussed by the NSC on January 6 and 16, 1958. (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records) NSC Action No. 1842, taken at the January 16 meeting and approved by the President on January 21, called for a series of reports throughout 1958 on active military defense, measures to strengthen United States nuclear retaliatory power as a deterrent, and a nationwide fallout shelter program. (Department of State, S/SNSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, Records of Action by the National Security Council)